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Pre-Surgical Bariatric Evaluation

Now accepting new patients for telehealth appointments

Before you’re approved for weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, you have to go through an extensive screening process. In addition to many medical examinations, patients who want weight-loss surgery must also have a psychological evaluation. At New York Neuropsychological Services in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, Nicole Murray, Psy.D., offers comprehensive evaluations that include all the psychological assessments you’ll need to qualify for bariatric surgery. 

How do I qualify for bariatric surgery?

If you’re considering bariatric surgery, the first step is determining if you meet one of the two body weight criteria. You must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or be more than 100 pounds overweight. Or you can have a BMI of 35-39 if you also have at least one obesity-related health condition, such as:

  • Hypertension

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Heart disease

  • Abnormal blood lipids

If your weight qualifies you for surgery, your bariatric surgeon tells you the additional medical tests and physical examinations you’ll need to complete before you’re approved for surgery. One of the tests you need is a psychological evaluation.

Why do I need a psychological evaluation before bariatric surgery?

One reason for getting a psychological evaluation is that it’s usually required by insurance companies before they’ll agree to cover your bariatric surgery. Your bariatric surgeon also needs to know you don’t have a condition that could make surgery too dangerous, such as an alcohol or drug addiction. The most important reason for a psychological evaluation is that it helps determine if you’re prepared to make the dramatic lifestyle changes and face other challenges that arise following surgery.


Bariatric surgery doesn’t guarantee you’ll lose weight or that you’ll maintain a healthy weight once you reach your weight-loss goal. Your overall success depends on your willingness and ability to develop new eating habits, start exercising, and stop using food as a drug that makes you feel good. Evaluating your psychological and emotional health gives your bariatric surgeon the ability to determine if you’ll put in the effort after your procedure.

What should I expect during a bariatric evaluation?

During your evaluation, Dr. Murray reviews your medical and psychological history and uses standardized screening tools to evaluate your current psychological health. Dr. NMurray stays alert for problems that may affect your ability to tolerate surgery. She also talks to you about:

  • Your dieting history and previous weight-loss attempts

  • Your expectations for weight loss following surgery

  • The lifestyle changes you’ll need to make

  • The support system you have in place

  • Your current eating habits and how they need to change

  • The risks and complications of your surgical procedure

When your bariatric evaluation is finished, Dr. Murray sends a report to your surgeon.

If you need a psychological bariatric evaluation, call New York Neuropsychological Services or schedule an appointment online.

Now accepting new patients for telehealth appointments

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